Task Force on Palestine Babies

December 5, 2006 12:00 AM

The Japanese Nationality Law says that if neither the father nor the mother has any nationality-it is certainly a rare case-their baby who is born in Japan will be given the Japanese nationality. It is simply to avoid having a baby with no nationality.

The Japanese Government has not yet fully recognized the State of Palestine. In the world of the Japanese Nationality Law, the Palestinians are considered to be of no nationality. Two years ago the Japanese Government finally recognized the Palestine Passport as a travel document, but not the State itself, and started counting the number of the Palestinians entering Japan; before that they were simply classified as foreigners with no nationality. Although the Japanese Government has never considered the possibility, some Palestinian parents do have babies in Japan, and the babies have received the Japanese nationality because the parents are, in the eyes of the Japanese Government, people with no nationality!

Now, there are more than a dozen Palestinian-Japanese on this planet. Some are in Japan, but some are in Gaza and some are in the West Bank. What if those Palestinian-Japanese babies get involved in the conflict? Of course the notorious Japanese Embassy will have to come to provide them some protection for the Japanese citizens.

Another Palestinian baby was born in Japan last month, and, although the Foreign Ministry tries very hard to look the other way, we have to do something about this issue. The Party has set up a task force to look into this issue. Someone called it the task force on the Palestine Babies.

Also, 2007 marks the twenty second anniversary of the Nationality Law of 1985, which says, unlike the previous law that was very male chauvinistic, if either the father or the mother is Japanese, the baby becomes the Japanese National. The dual national baby, however, must choose the nationality when he becomes twenty-two years old. Well, there are about 420,000 Japanese who have the dual nationality because of their parents, and those who turn twenty-two in 2007 will have to choose. The question is if we let the Law into effect or change the rule about the dual nationality as the world is becoming so small so fast. The task force will make a decision on it, too.